A few years ago my wife and I sold our house in Portland, Oregon. It was a small place, roughly 600 square feet, and that included the garage. I think the people who originally built the house were actual gnomes.
One day we had to clear out of the house so the buyers (a husband/wife team) could do a final walk-through inspection. My wife was at work downtown and I took the car out to do some errands. I finished my shopping and then drove around while I waited for our realtor to call and tell me that I could return to the house.
Two hours into this our realtor called.
“Damn,” she said with a dark laugh, “they’re still there. Whadd’ya do for two hours in a house that small?”
“I don’t know,” I replied, “but when I get back I’m changing the sheets.”
I thought of that event after reading a news story about a New Jersey couple that’s suing two real estate agents. In their suit, the homeowners claim that their realtors intentionally over-priced the home to discourage buyers from December 2011 to January 2012.
Setting a high price on a house is just a way to maximize the seller’s profit and the realtor’s commission, right? Not in this case. Security cameras installed by the homeowners captured the realtors kissing in the kitchen before undressing and having sex on their client’s bed.
They say you want your unoccupied house to look lived in when you’re selling it, but this is a stretch. Five bucks says we’ll see a spike in Jersey homes with For Sale By Owner signs. And if we’re really lucky, we might just get a new reality show as well.